hello, and welcome to nhk "newsline." it is friday, april 24th, i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. european union leaders say they're taking action on a crisis in the mediterranean sea. they're holding an emergency summit following the mass drowning of migrants and they are vowing to deal strictly with traffickers and illegal immigrantings. they issued a joint statement on their plans. they agreed to triple funding for coastal patrols and rescue missions and they say they'll
strengthen efforts to capture smugglers and take their boats. they also agreed to tighten controls on the flow of illegal immigrants by sending them back to their countries. the eu is asking members to swiftly implement the new measures. leaders will discuss progress at their june summit. u.s. president barack obama has revealed what he calls a terrible tragedy in a drone strike on al qaeda in pakistan. he says an american and italian hostage were killed. and he apologized to the families of the victims. obama called an unscheduled news conference on thursday at the white house. he revealed details of the january attack on a border region between afghanistan and pakistan. it's where a u.s. and italian government aid worker were being held hostage. al qaeda agents abducted warren weinstein in 2011. and giovanni laporto in 2012. obama said based on intelligence
obtained at the time, military officials believed no civilians were present. >> i take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations including the ones that inadvertently took the lives of warren and giovanni. i profoundly regret what happened. on behalf of the united states government, i offer our deepest apologies to the families. >> obama pledged to work to prevent a recurrence. u.s. officials noted the air strike and another operation in january killed two american members of al qaeda. u.s. forces have ended combat operations in afghanistan, but they are helping local security forces fight terrorists through the use to attack drones. 60 years have passed since the first asian-african summit. president xi jinping suggested his nation sides with developing
countries. at the summit he pointed out that international order is controlled by industrialized nations and emphasized the need to change it. nhk world's -- reports. >> translator: china will proceed with the one belt-one road initiative with the countries involved as well as the establishment of the asian infrastructure investment bank. >> reporter: recently china managed together 57 founding countries to launch the aiib. for president xi the asian-africa summit was an opportunity for him to show the enthusiasm for the creation of a new world order. >> translator: developed nations should maintain and develop an build a fair just and tolerant international financial system and create an environment that is conducive to the growth of developing countries.
>> reporter: the statement indicates china's strong dissatisfaction with the global financial order that continues to be dominated by the imf and the world bank, both led by the u.s. the nation's influence has been repressed despite its status as an economic giant. the main focus of president xi's gloemsy is one belt one road. this initiative involves the creation of an economic belt from china to europe. it aims to create mutual benefits to nations in the bloc by promoting their development. president xi visited pakistan earlier this week ahead of the conference. he met with the pakistani prime minister to discuss the establishment of an economic
corridor that are stretch from southwestern pakistan to western china. they agreed that china would help build roads, railroads and power plants. this is considered the -- of the one belt one law initiative. an expert on chinese diplomacy points out that president xi wants to dispel the idea that the nation's emergence as a great military presence will threaten world peace. >> with coming the aiib and the one belt one road strategy definitely china will strengthen the economic tie with many countries. and this strengthened economic tie will help those countries finally become strategic partnership with china. then we can reach the goal set by president xi jinping to have a global partnership network.
>> reporter: despite emphasized mutual harmony and benefit, china has been causing major friction with its neighboring countries over territorial rights in the south china sea and other issues. some participants in the asia-africa conference eluded to such matters. >> translator: in asian there are nations that are dealing with territorial rights issues on land and sea as well as serious armed conflicts. >> reporter: in order for china to truly lead asia and africa it must answer to the concerns of the international community, naoki maita, nhk world. officials have been discussing the tpp for years but they want to wrap up a basic
agreement as soon as possible. ai uchida joins us from the business desk to give us an update on how the talks are going. a busy week for those negotiating the tpp. >> officials from japan and the u.s. met in tokyo this week. as we covered here they were up all night on the second day as they poured over the details. and working level officials are now meeting in the u.s. to continue the conversation. they're expected to discuss outstanding issues including the term to protect patents for pharmaceutical products. the top working level officials kicked off their four day talks on thursday. the chief negotiator says he is happy to see deliberations are in full swing on a fast track bill to give president obama a greater authority in trade negotiations. >> translator: i hope discussions in the u.s. congress will have a positive effect on
our meeting and that the negotiations overall will make progress. japan will do its utmost the make a contribution. >> the delegates will talk until sunday. the aim is to pave the way for an early conclusion of the deal at a following min sterile level meeting among all 12 countries. u.s. secretary of state john kerry has expressed high hopes that prime minister shinzo abe's visit in washington will accelerate tpp talks with japan. kerry said the tpp would be proof that japan and the u.s. can make their tice even tighter. he indicated an early conclusion between tokyo and washington would be crucial for a successful end to the tpp negotiations. the u.s. congress is deliberating the fast-track bill. kerry urged the lawmakers to pass it. >> in the united states should be deeply engaged in helping to write the rules for trade.
>> kerry said a failure by washington to gain a rule-making role would spell serious troubles for the future of the u.s. economy. china dominates the production of rare earths. when beijing slapped export duties on the materials, industries around the world were suddenly left reeling. now chinese officials say they are going to scrap the taxes. the finance ministry officials say the duties of up to 25% will be removed may 1st. this follows the scrapping of quotas in january. the officials justified the restrictions saying they were needed to preserve the country's resources and environment. the world trade organization slammed the practices last august in a report. japan, the united states and the european union filed a complaint in 2012 arguing that china was in violation of wto rules.
officials at japan's foreign ministry say they think that beijing will rectify the actions but they will closely monitor the actions saying that the important point is that it sticks to the rules. european share prices were down. in the u.s. hopes for strong earnings took stocks higher. the dow jones rose .10% and the nasdaq hit a record high of 5,056. ramin mellegard joins us from the tokyo stock exchange. what are you seeing so far? >> we saw shares of microsoft, google and amazon trade higher after hours. although some of the data out of the u.s. was on the softer side and that led the dollar a little bit lower. let's have a look at how the opening levels here for the nikkei and the topix are
affected. friday april 24th. both marginally in the negative. and the nikkei maintaining that 20,000 level also closing at that level yesterday despite manufacturing data out of china dipping to a one-year low. leading investors to anticipate there might be further economic stimulus measures. we'll see how japanese rivals today will be affected by earnings from caterpillar and its expected to report a surge in profits and sales. earnings outlooks for japan will be coming thick and fast in the coming weeks and the dip in crude oil prices and commodity prices may effect negatively some of the energy related sector stocks. but the weakening yen is expected to show a record surge in profits for a lot of the exporters as well. that's going to be interesting
coming up. >> and looks like the dollar dipped a touch. what happened there? >> we had the weekly jobless claims data which rose and showed more people applying for unemployment benefits and new home sales fell 11.4% from a year earlier. that dragged sentiment a little bit lower. 119.60. that was above 120 this time yesterday. the euro is stronger against the dollar despite disappointing april service data from the eurozone and concerns on greece were held back a little bit ahead of the meeting on friday. greece is expected to top the agenda there. >> asian indices are a focus as the asian-african summit came to a close. what can you tell us there? >> that has been a big focus and thawing of relations between japan and china is also expected
to provide a boost there for a lot of infrastructure projects helping a lot of japanese companies along the way of course. i'll keep track of those honda jet is the world's most advanced small business jet with unique technology to enhance performance. the yellow sand is often carrying a toxin called pm 2.5. it's creating growing concerns about the health and the economic fallout. nhk world's kim chan-ju reports on efforts to fight the pollution. >> reporter: this is a popular mountain outside seoul. the area is usually crowded with climbers in spring, but this year, it is almost deserted. >> translator: the number of climbers is down by half from usual years. sales have dropped by 20 to 30%. >> reporter: the problem is dirty air and the biggest worry
is pm 2.5. the pollutant is smaller than 2.5 micrometers and goes deep into the lungs, causing bronchitis and asthma. pollution in seoul last month was measured at three times the safe level advised by the world health organization. >> translator: going outside is painful. i quickly feel sore in my chest and eyes. >> reporter: not surprisingly, an instrument that measures air pollution is getting a lot of attention. the device is used with smartphones. this seoul resident has been using it since the start of the year. the device displays air quality every 15 seconds and sounds an alarm when pollution tops safe levels.
the smartphone displays countermeasures calibrated to the amount of pollution in the air. >> translator: i have a child so i'm worried about indoor air as well. that's why i started to use this instrument. >> translator: we sell only in south korea, but interest is growing in china, southeast asia and russia. so, we expect sales to grow. >> reporter: people in the countryside are trying another
solution, so-called vegetable is grown a three-hour drive from seoul. farmers here harvest traditional medicinal herbs said to alleviate bronchitis and sinus infections. the harvest season is at its peak. it is considered effective against pm 2.5. korean medicine doctors say it boosts the immunity of the respiratory system. >> translator: the main component of the vegetable is effective against asthma and nasal inflammation and for disinfecting the bronchi. >> reporter: demand for the plant is strong. this farm ships nearly 80 kilograms a day across the country. to fight the pollution, koreans are relying on remedies from the past and the high-tech present. kim chan-ju, nhk world, seoul. and that's the latest in business here's a check on markets.
the united states has recently seen a search in a coffee shop that is different from the major chains. these trendy coffee shops has started to open in japan. but how they make their coffee isn't so different from the country's traditional methods. >> reporter: people are waiting in line at a branch of a u.s. coffee shop that opened in tokyo this year. it's special because the coffee is made without machines. each cup is brewed using the drip method. >> translator: i don't think the
coffee at coffee shop chains is tasty. but here it's smooth. >> reporter: james freeman, the founder of this coffee shop brand explains he was influenced by japanese cafes. >> i'm thinking of making coffee one cup at a time roasting in very small batches, very labor intensive. >> reporter: this is one of the cafes that freeman was inspired by. the brewing method for each cup varies depending on the condition of the beans. for instance if they are not fresh roasted, hotter water is used and it is poured more slowly. not only that, but there is a wall filled with more than 500 different coffee cups. a barista gauges which cup would best suit the customer's mood or expression.
>> translator: for people who seem a bit down, we serve coffee in a blue or calming green cup to brighten their day. >> translator: i've been coming here for ten years but i've never seen today's cup before. i'm always intrigued by the cups that come out because they are chosen especially for me. >> reporter: this cafe serves the most expensive cup of coffee in japan. for each cup the owner uses ten times the usual amount of beans. and he pours hot water over the beans little by little. you have to wait 30 minutes for the first drop of coffee to be extracted.
about an hour after he began brewing it the coffee is finally ready to drink. >> translator: once i tasted this coffee i couldn't really drink it anywhere else. >> reporter: $32 is the price of this bliss. the absolute pinnacle is this coffee. it has been aged in a wooden cask for 20 years. it comes in an exquisite porcelain cup. one cup of this coffee costs $830. but those with a more modest budget can enjoy just a spoonful.
>> translator: i really sensed a sweetness. it's sweet like a wine with noble rot. >> translator: i didn't try to imitate other countries. but because i'm japan i developed a unique japanese coffee experience. >> reporter: this cafe culture has been nurtured by the japanese ideal of hospitality. it is a concept that has been discovered discovered overseas and rediscovered in japan. it's time now for a check of the weather with our meteorologist robert speta. good morning. people in australia's new south wales are dealing are recovery efforts after being hit by severe flooding and damaging winds. meteorologist robert speta us with the latest. >> what we are seeing now is at least some improving conditions across much of this area and that's are the good news. the bad news is the damage has
been taking place. most of this week, we were seeing foul weather there just around the sydney area and that was the biggest issue with this storm. it was the duration of the winds. of course, if you get winds over 100 kilometers per hour, it does bring some sort of damage with it but over the course of several days, while this is some of the images we are seeing, at least at this time, of not only the winds but also the heavy rainfall and it does look like the bill after this storm system is over with could add up into the hundreds of millions of dollars out here. you can see many homes inundated, we were seeing the destructive winds, at least four people have died because of this storm system. and it's still having an impact and i'm sure it is going to be an extended period of time where the recovery efforts are going to be taking place across much of this area and at least as far as the forecast is concerned, we are seeing some improvement over the next several days. start to get those recovery efforts in place out here.
we do have a little bit of a low pushing down here toward the south. that is going to bring showers into victoria, over through tasmania, southern portions of new south wales and even sydney could see some passing showers as we go ahead into the weekend. i think the worst to have is going to stay over there toward victoria. see melbourne, showers and thunderstorms flaring up on friday and toward saturday. this is definitely going to be not a story that is over with any time soon. for an extended period of time, i'm sure people out across this area are going to be remembering this storm system. let's look back toward the north and talk about the severe weather here as well because there into texas through oklahoma we have this moisture flowing in over the pacific ocean and the gulf of mexico combined with some cooler air we are seeing there into the northern plains, well, any time we talk about that, we are, of course, talking about that severe weather threat. that's going to be there again, as we go here through your friday, especially into the afternoon hours, looking at the threat of some large hail, thunderstorms, of coursing, and i think straight line damaging winds. that is going to be one of the bigger issues here but even the
chance of some tornadoes across this area and do remember, we are getting into the peak of tornado season this time of year, don't be surprised if we see that severe weather threat more. if you are flying across this area, watch out for those delays and cancellations. actually heading into may, that is the peak of tornado season during the whole month, over 250 tornado reports on average typically occur. the number could be higher or lower. let's hope it is on the low end of the spectrum. now, as far as the temperatures, this is why you have the threat of severe weather, temperatures staying hot down here towards the south, 28, 25 there in oklahoma city, but north of that front, chicago, just at 10. even over toward winnipeg into the single digits. some passing showers back there toward the west, that's totally separate storm system, if you are over there toward british columbia and to the pacific northwest, do have an umbrella ready. now, here into japan, i do want to mention, we have a cold front here off to the north, going to bring passing showers, maybe a few thunderstorms as we head into the weekend.
>> the bloody rampage through tunis' bardo museum has left tunisia reeling as it comes to terms with an is attack which struck at the heart of both its tourist industry, and its national identity. the country once held up as the arab spring's last beacon of hope is now faced with some tough soul-searching as it moves to tighten its security. find out more after this quick round up of today's topics, here on "global 3000."